The Very Airby Douglas Bauer
Luther Mathias sells "snake oil" in scrubby West Texas dirt towns. He learns that substance is never a substitue for style and eventually develops his own remedies that promise to cure any ailment a man might suffer. In time his imagination and ambition combine to mold him into medicine's version of Elmer Gantry: loved and hated, imponderably wealthy and famous,
- LendMe LendMe™ Learn More
Luther Mathias sells "snake oil" in scrubby West Texas dirt towns. He learns that substance is never a substitue for style and eventually develops his own remedies that promise to cure any ailment a man might suffer. In time his imagination and ambition combine to mold him into medicine's version of Elmer Gantry: loved and hated, imponderably wealthy and famous, powerful and pursued.
More than just a portrait of a flamboyant, resourceful schemer, The Very Air is a compelling exploration of human motives and hidden meanings. It is a detailed picture of America's myth of the rugged individual in the psychological and narrative tradition of The Great Gatsby and Citizen Kane. With a resonant sense of the period and culture, Douglas Bauer evokes the freewheeling feel of the old Southwest in the early part of the century and delivers an allusive commentary on the charlatans of our own era. The Very Air shows, through storytelling both exhilarating and chilling, that the past is prologue and that our personal histories indeed shape the course of our individual futures.
- BN ID:
- Foreverland Press
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 496 KB
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
What People are Saying About This
Meet the Author
Douglas Bauer has written three novels, Dexterity, The Very Air, and The Book of Famous Iowans, each of them set in small towns, in Upstate New York, in Texas, and in Iowa. Their subjects and interests are as varied as their settings, although reviewers have pointed out that they all concern themselves in some fashion with mothers’ unpredictable presences and absences and the effect of that unreliability on their sons.
He has also written two non-fiction books, Prairie City, Iowa and The Stuff of Fiction. The first covers a year of reunion with the tiny farm village of the title, where Doug was raised and to which he returned at the age of 30 in order to try to understand the place where he grew up and, not incidentally, some things about himself as he reached that critical age. The second is a series of essays devoted to the craft of fiction writing. The essays cover the elements of character creation, dialogue, narrative strategies, how to start and end a story, and many more. There are exercises accompanying the essays.
In addition to the books Doug has written, he’s edited two anthologies, Prime Times: Writers on their favorite television shows; and Death by Pad Thai and Other Unforgettable Meals. These anthologies feature contributions from some of the most prominent writers of our time, including Sue Miller, Andre Dubus III, Aimee Bender, Richard Russo, Claire Messud, Nick Hornby, the late and very great Barry Hannah, and on and on.
Doug’s stories and essays have appeared through the years in The Atlantic, Harper’s, Esquire, Tin House, The New York Times Magazine and Sunday Book Review, The Massachusetts Review, Agni, and other publications.
He’s received grants in both fiction and non-fiction from The National Endowment for the Arts, and he’s taught at several colleges and universities, including Harvard, Smith, The University of New Mexico, Rice, and since 2005 at Bennington College. Doug’s courses there include literature classes in the works of Charles Dickens, his favorite author in the language, as well as Twentieth Century writers such as Willa Cather, Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews